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2 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION Starting a new paper or project can be very exciting. There are some steps you should follow to make the most of your time and effort. Before you begin, list all the requirements of your assignment. Then: 1. Identify your topic 2. Find background information about your topic 3. Locate books about your topic 4. Locate magazines and newspapers about your topic 5. See if there are any video or audio information sources 6. Evaluate all your sources of information 7. Build a list of citations for all of your information sources

3 VALIDATING SOURCES Many information sites on the internet do not contain accurate, complete, or up to date information. The first step for finding good, accurate information is to use sites that are edited and reviewed. Companies that must be accurate, such as World Book Encyclopedia, Proquest, and SIRS Information sites, have enormous staff that update, review, and check for accuracy. When gathering information for research, it is important that it be accurate. If you are doing general web searches, you should check the information you find with reputable print or internet sites that can be trusted for accuracy. When searching for health information, it is particularly important to be accurate. Using sites such as Web MD or the Mayo clinic will give you the most up to date and reliable health information.

4 PRIMARY SOURCES Sometimes in your research you are asked to use a primary source. Primary sources are those which provide first hand experience of the topic being discussed. The Diary of Anne Frank is an example. The book was written by Miss Frank at the time of World War II and gives insight to the events of WWII and her family’s life during the war. It can be considered a primary source. Primary sources are important to have an actual viewpoint of a specific time, person, or event. First person writings or recordings by a person involved in a specific event are considered primary sources.

5 SECONDARY SOURCES Secondary sources are documents written after an event has occurred, talking about people or events that others have experienced. A book that analyses the writings or events experienced by another person, is a secondary source. Secondary sources are important for providing background for a time or event. They provide perspective and research information.

6 BACKGROUND INFORMATION It is often helpful to obtain general background information about your topic before doing in depth research. You can begin by going to Scroll down to WORLD BOOK WEB. Click on it and enter the following: user name- ridgefieldsd password- worldbook Click on “Student”, then enter your topic in the search box. The articles you then see will all relate to the topic you put in the box. World Book Web is a good research tool because it is edited, checked for accuracy and reviewed. It is updated daily, as needed, to maintain accuracy. This site will give you good background information about your topic. Be sure to copy and paste the MLA citation to the page that will be your “Works Cited” page.

7 FINDING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION The first step is to check the “card catalog”, also called OPAC. You will look for book resources which pertain to your topic. Be sure to take down all the bibliography information for each source. The information you will need is as follows: Title of the book_____________________________ Author of the book___________________________ Publisher of the book__________________________ Copyright date of the book______________________ The number of pages in the book__________________ The above information will need to be included in your “Works Cited” page. You will need to take down the “call number” to find the book in the library.

8 FINDING MAGAZINE AND NEWSPAPER ARTICLES Teachers may also want you to include magazines in your research. You may find them by going to Proquest at: Scroll down until you see the Proquest logo. Notice that there are also links to Proquest Research Library, Proquest Literature, and History Study Center. These will be helpful, depending on your topic. Click on Proquest and enter the username and password. Enter your subject in the search box, click search, and examine the list. As you find articles that you want to use in your research, you will need the following bibliographic information for your “Works Cited” page. Title of article_____________________________________ Author of article(if given)_____________________________ Name of magazine or newspaper________________________ Date of publication________________Page #_____________

9 ADDITIONAL MAGAZINE DATABASES Another way to locate magazine and newspaper articles is to search SIRS Discoverer. Go to: Scroll down and click on SIRS Discoverer. Enter the user name and password. Enter your topic and again you will get a list of articles. Click on any articles that will help your research. You will need the following information for your “Works Cited” page. Title of article_________________________________ Author of article_______________________________ Publisher of article_____________________________ Date of publication_____________________________ Page # of the article____________________________

10 COUNTRY AND CULTURE INFORMATION If you are studying a country or a culture, you can find good information in the Culturegrams database. Go to : Scroll down until you find Culturegrams. Click on it and add the username and password. Enter your topic in the search box and begin reading the articles. For each article you use, you will need the following information. Title of article_____________________________ Author of article(if given)_____________________ Name of magazine or newspaper________________ Date of publication__________________________ Page #___________________________________

11 AFTER YOU RESEARCH Once you have completed researching your topic, you will begin writing your paper or report as per your teacher’s guidelines. Follow all the proper writing protocols and editing rules. Make sure you have all the necessary information to complete your “Works Cited” page. Your writing experience will be enjoyable and productive if you research and prepare thoroughly and correctly.


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